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“The students began by interviewing service teams in other industries, where technology is changing the way maintenance is performed, gaining insights applicable to the construction environment,” said Fredy Daza, Senior Innovation Manager at Volvo Group Connected Solutions Innovation Lab in Silicon Valley, also called Hub335. Hub335 facilitated the cooperation between the Volvo Construction Equipment team and CMU students in this yearly challenge.

“The problem statement defined how Volvo might become the first choice for future technicians in an industry transformed by connectivity, electrification, and automation,” Fredy explained. “The statement identifies both an immediate and long-term challenge. The short term problem is an industry-wide technician shortage. The long-term challenge is that the landscape of the construction industry is changing and adopting new technologies at a faster pace, requiring new skills and team structure. To adapt to this new landscape, the skills technicians will need in the future will be different.”

The students looked to a solution that was driven by key pain points, brand, and diversity. “So that when the future comes, Volvo will have a plan in place and can execute,” said Lee Trawick, one of the CMU students. The solution needed to include a strategy to elevate Volvo’s brand perception in the construction space and ensure that as the industry changes, they’re able to recruit a new segment of people and support them. The students’ solutions challenged Volvo CE to break the mindset of, “this will not work in our industry,” and embrace new ways of thinking.